This new series of photographs is my personal reflection on age-old themes. Titled Vanity, these self-portraits employ a compression mask, commonly utilized after plastic surgery.
According to the Plastic Surgery Statistics report, in 2015 there were 15.9 million cosmetic procedures. The Vanity series is my effort to begin a discourse – focusing on cosmetic surgery, the culture of youth and the beauty industry. They pose important questions about who we are and of treasured reflections severed and connections with familial society lost.
The compression mask speaks to the pressures society places on outward appearance. Blindly following the prevailing beauty culture, more and more people unwittingly separate themselves from their heritage. High school girls emulate their mothers with second and third generation rhinoplasty. They don’t look like their parents or grandparents because they themselves and their relatives are all hiding behind a mask.
The images I took while wrapped in my grandmother’s fur(s), shielding my face behind a compression mask, reflect my cherished memories of a beautiful woman who never stopped being conscious of the fashion standards impacting her lifestyle. The wardrobe change photographs mimic the ever-changing fads and trends that young people find they must wear in order to find acceptance within the popular clique or social strata.
Vanity ask why, how far, what is needed, what gets in the way, and what treasured relationships are left behind? Is it time to stop following the crowd and exert our own individuality? Time to embrace our own definitive heritage? Are you wearing a mask?